Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan --- Movie Review

This year has been quite dry when it comes to the quality of films that have been produced . In fact there were just 2-3 films that satisfied me and made me think it of as a brilliant piece of cinema . The interesting thing to note is that the Two films that I found great this year (Aamir and Khuda Ke Liye)were both based on terrorism and its aftermath . The third film this year that has impressed me is again having a terrorist background and that is Mumbai Meri Jaan . This film should not be called a film , it is more of a docu-drama sort of film which has depicted the reality of Mumbai and Mumbaikars , their problems and their Life in general covering all strata's of Society. This film is almost like a Reality Special Report that a channel like NDTV makes with real stories and real characters which makes us realise how tough life can be and how nobody gives a damn how tough your life is . You have to sort it out yourself .

The film though is based on Mumbai Blasts but neither it focusses on the plan of Blasts neither does it focus on catching of criminals . As the name suggests it is about the life of Mumbaikars and how their life gets affected by a terrorist activity .The film is has no common story but has strong characters and each character has a story of his own . The film focusses on various issues that are surrounding us apart from the big Terrorism issue . It makes a black humour of those issues that we don't take up seriously but terrorism is the Baby of those small issues itself . It portrays that if we sort out those small issues in our life then automatically the big issue of Terrorism will end .

The film focuses on lives of Five Peoples who belong to different sections of society and all live in Mumbai . Soha Ali Khan who is a Journalist , Kay Kay who is a simple computer assembler looking desperately for some work ,Irrfan Khan who is a Tea Vendor , Paresh Rawal who is a Police Constable and R. Madhvan who is working at some organisation on a high post and pay scale . Soha Ali Khan is a typical Television Reporter who just cares at giving news and tries to sensationalize everything like every typical channel does . She is a famous reporter and is ready to get married with her fiance who doesn't like Media because of their irresponsible behaviour .

Kay Kay is an Educated Struggler who struggles for existence and has lot of debts on him . He doesn't like Muslims at all and thinks that all of them are Terrorists . He is very radical about religion and practically hates every Muslim .Madhvan is an upper middle class guy who works and earns but still prefers to travel by Local Train because he thinks that more the people travel by public transport , the more organised the traffic of Mumbai would be and basically cares about our country and loves Mumbai and India a lot . He declines all his offers to go abroad because he likes Mumbai and India a lot .

Irrfan Khan is a very poor and innocent Tea Vendor from south and he tries to adjust in Mumbai with just bare necessities of life . He too wants to go to Malls and Multiplexes and live a life like many people live in Mumbai but he can't . Then there is Paresh Rawal who is a corrupt Police constable who is just about to retire . He is good at heart and quite honest at heart but he also gets involved in the system and can't do anything about it because he is too small a person to do anything about it .

Amongst all of these only two get affected directly from the serial Train Blasts , Madhvan and Soha . Madhvan's friend gets injured and loses his hand and Soha loses her fiance in the blasts . The plot of Madhvan shows how he gets terrified after the blasts as he just narrowly escapes those blasts . He gets scared a lot and he starts having Mental Anxiety problems and his love and trust for Mumbai and India also starts shaking . After the blasts Kay Kay starts probing into blasts himself along with his friends because he has suspicion on some Muslim guys that regularly visit a restaurant but are missing after the blasts . After the blasts the Police start their usual routine of High Alert in the town and try to tighten up the situation of the city . Soha gets the shock of her life and takes a break from her job but her channel decides to do a byte on her . She gives them the permission and faces the same questions that she used to ask early and realises how hard it is . She gets to face the other side of her profession and her perspective changes . Irrfan in order to take his revenge from rich people spreads rumours of Bombs in Malls and watches them run for their life . While doing this he doesn't realise that how much problem he is causing and his rumour can get dangerous .

The whole movie revolves around these different plots with Mumbai being common in all their plots . How they slowly slowly recover from the blasts and how they realise their mistakes and also the fact that though the city has many problems but still it is the spirit of the city that makes them still live their . The whole movie is a mirror image of our society and its happenings . But as they say sometimes others have to show you the mirror to you so that you realise that what flaws you have . The same job has been done by Director Nishikant Kamat who has shown us what we see daily but act like blind people who haven't seen anything .

The film is not made like a typical film that moves according to a single story . This one moves in a random way and portraying each story simultaneously .Each story has something to offer and sends out a message in general . The movie starts off with archive footage of Mumbai and how it has changed over the years . The beginning of the movie is quite strong and creates an impact on the viewer's mind . But it is after sometime that the movie comes into its true element which it has maintained for the entire length .The plot of Irrfan Khan though was quite moving but still it was unnecessary and could have been avoided . Most of the time the film has Serious tone but some scenes have still been dramatized and some being over-dramatized . Especially the scene where Irrfan lifts his both hand and looks towards the sky while a heavy background score is played is quite out of the place and frankly speaking a little stupid also . The movie though surrounds the Mumbai blasts yet it has talked very less about the blasts . The Mumbai blasts have been used more as Publicity tool to attract the audience . Black Friday as we all know is an exceptional film and not only does it focus on the Mumbai Blasts of 1992 but also in the process sends out a strong message .

Talking a little about the acting , the film has some of the finest performances by all the actors in it . Especially Kay Kay and Irrfan who were at their best . Kay Kay is one of the best actors in the Industry yet he has done very few roles and that too mostly in Multi-starrer films . He is one of those actors that get under the skin of the character effortlessly and are quite natural about it . His acting just mesmerizes me and I am a huge fan of him since his Television days . The other fine performance is by Irrfan . His plot though wasn't that strong yet he delivers his best and it is because of him that his plot can be seen . Soha has also done a fine job but she can do much better . Paresh Rawal is a seasoned actor , he also gives a fine performance . The character of a Marathi Constable suits him perfectly . Madhvan's role wasn't that good but he still acts quite well . He also can do much better than this .

Overall , the film is very good but it lacks that cinematic approach and hence would please only selected audience . The Director Nishikant has worked more hard on the scenes rather than the complete film . He has shown some of the most finest scenes and has created several moments throughout the film but there was no common thread that could hold all these moments and hence you have a feeling after watching the film that something was missing . The Acting , Direction , Cinematography and Background Score were all good but that soul is what was missing . But still , the film is different type of cinema and it should be appreciated for its effort . The film though might not work that much but has certainly won all the accolades that it could have .

Indian Audience has seen such type of cinema very few times and Documentaries have also never got popular in India thats why this film also won't work on a commercial level . The Director has worked differently on the Five Stories of Five People and if you are ready to accept that then only you can watch it .

Still , the film is recommended from my side because it has very strong messages in it that have been presented in an excellent manner . The film has some of the finest acting performances and number of moments that make it worth a watch .The film also shows the life of Mumbai and Mumbaikars in a very realistic manner so it is a must watch for all the Mumbaikars . The film ends with the Famous song "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahan , Zara Hatke, Zara Bach ke, ye he Bombay meri Jaan " which very well puts up the entire lifestyle of the city .

Movie Rating : Three and Half out of Five Stars ; Fabulous acting and some great moments .

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